Photo by Marina Castillo
If you’re thinking of growing your business (or increasing its revenue), focus on your business structure first. I’m not referring to your internal business organization (e.g., marketing, sales, administration, development, customer service, etc.) – I’m referring to your external business conversations.
Businesses converse with (at most) five different target groups, each of whom have different needs:
- customers (people who give you money in exchange for your offering)
- investors (people who give you money in exchange for ownership)
- the public (teaching people about your offering – but not with the primary goal of turning them into customers – perhaps to share information to make their lives better)
- advocates (try to affect rules and regulations in society)
- prospective employees (are people who want to give you their time and knowledge in exchange for a salary)
You need to market your company to each of these groups differently, because each group has different needs/concerns.
- customers want to know why they should buy from you. What specific problems do they have that you can solve?
- investors (or donors, for non-profit businesses) want to know how their money will help your business and how will they benefit.
- the public want to know why they should trust your information and how it will make their lives better.
- advocates want to know what in society should change, why, and who will benefit (and who won’t).
- prospective employees want to know that your business is healthy, their contributions will be valued, and that your company values are in alignment with their personal values.
Before trying to grow your business, make sure you send the right message, to the right group of people, at the right time.